Kangaroos and koalas have a lot in common. Both of these marsupials can be found only in Australia! Or at least in the wild — you may also be able to spot them at your local zoo.
Kangaroos are well known for their iconic stomach pouches in which females carry their young. But did you know that koalas also have pouches? That’s right! After a baby koala is born it crawls into its mother’s pouch, where it will stay for 6 months. After it grows too large for the pouch, the mother carries her young on her back until around 12 months. Baby red kangaroos stay in their mothers’ pouches full time for 5 months and usually leave for good after 8 months. Koala and kangaroo babies. Koala and kangaroo babies are both called joeys!
So many similarities. How will you be able to pick a side? Well, there are some differences between the two species as well, let’s check them out!
The kangaroo is a formidable foe! Their animal family is Macropodidae, meaning “big foot.” Their powerful legs can carry them up to 9 meters in a single hop, and they can travel over 56km/h!
And they don’t only use their feet for travel. If threatened, kangaroos pound the ground with their strong feet to others in their group (known to Australians as a “mob” of kangaroos). In a pinch kangaroos with punch, kick, and even bite their way to victory!
Kangaroos can grow up to 2 meters (6.5 feet) tall and weigh 90 kgs (nearly 200 lbs)! You might want to think twice the next time you try to cut a kangaroo in line!
Roos also prove you don’t have to be a meat eater to be tough. They live on a diet of grass herbs and shrubs, and occasionally french fries given to them by tourists at the beach (this is not a recommended part of a healthy kangaroo diet).
Koalas may seem cute and fluffy — and they are! But some koala behavior can be pretty hardcore!
The koala diet consists primarily of eucalyptus leaves. Eucalyptus is extremely poisonous to most animals, but koalas don’t care! More eucalyptus for me they say. The koalas’ digestive system is especially adapted to detoxify the poisonous chemicals in the leaves.
A full eucalyptus diet is also fairly low in nutrition, which koalas also don’t mind! They just make up for the lack of nutrition by sleeping between 18 and 22 hours a day. Talk about a full nights’ sleep! Koalas are so dedicated to their poisonous leave diet that they don’t even drink water very often – they get the water they need from the eucalyptus as well.
An animal who loves snacking and sleeping? How relatable! Those aren’t the only traits koalas share with their primate friends though. Did you know koalas have finger prints? That’s right, just like humans each koala has a set of ridged prints that’s unique to them! So if there are some crime committing koalas in your neighborhood, you can put on your detective hat and get to work! you may be able to solve the case!
So which marsupial would you want on your team? Pick your favorite and may the best animal friend win! The fun begins at 11 AM ET on 4/20 and runs for 48 hours. We’ll see you there!